After multiple days of vote counting across the country, Joseph R. Biden has been named the winner of the 2020 presidential election. Biden held an overall consistent lead in both electoral college votes and the popular vote throughout the count, amassing the most votes ever cast for a presidential candidate in U.S. history.
Biden’s win came as Pennsylvania released their results early this afternoon. The state’s 20 electoral votes pushed Biden from 253 votes to 273, moving him past the 270 needed to win the election. Meanwhile, Trump plateaued at 214 electoral votes. As of Saturday evening, Biden also leads in the popular vote by about 3%.
Shortly after the election was called, Biden tweeted out a statement.
America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country.
The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not.
I will keep the faith that you have placed in me. pic.twitter.com/moA9qhmjn8
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 7, 2020
The democratic win comes on the heels of a particularly divisive campaign season during which coronavirus ravaged the country, and the fight for equality and racial justice attracted national attention due to police brutality against Black and Brown Americans.
President Trump has refused to acknowledge Biden as President-Elect, taking to Twitter in response to the election results. Earlier in the day Trump tweeted in all caps:
THE OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTING ROOMS. I WON THE ELECTION, GOT 71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES. BAD THINGS HAPPENED WHICH OUR OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE. NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WERE SENT TO PEOPLE WHO NEVER ASKED FOR THEM!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2020
Twitter labeled the tweet as disputed.
In anticipation of a loss, the Trump campaign strategy has been to discredit any results not in favor of the president. Months back, Trump began to spread misinformation, asserting that mail-in voting would lead to widespread fraud, despite contradicting evidence from experts. Before the final election outcome, the Trump campaign filed lawsuits against several states arguing for better access for poll watchers. Judges in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan dismissed the lawsuits.
Although the Trump campaign continues to grasp at straws for anything that might challenge the legitimacy of the election outcomes, Biden supporters are reflecting on the historic impact of this day.
Risa Paley-Zimble, a 24-year-old recent poll worker in St. Louis, Missouri is excited about the democratic win, but motivated to continue the party’s work.
“I am incredibly relieved and thrilled that Biden and Harris won the election,” she said. “We owe these results to the tireless voter protection efforts being done all over the country and I am grateful I was able to support as a poll worker. However, how close this election was is a clear indication that a lot of work still needs to be done and now is the time to keep the foot on the pedal.”
Kale Turner, 27, an OBYGN in Columbus, Ohio, is relieved by the election outcome as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
“As a gay male, I am reassured moving forward that my future marriage and future family will be afforded the same opportunities as my heterosexual couterparts and colleagues,” he said.
For Turner it was upsetting that his rights as a gay person were ever even in question in the United States in the year 2020. Moving forward he wants to see an administration that values diversity.
“I’m hoping for an agenda that accepts all people regardless of their beliefs, backgrounds, ethnicities, or how else they might identify,” said Turner.
The 2020 election is also making headlines with Vice President-Elect, Senator Kamala Harris making history as the e first woman, as well as woman of color, to take the second-in-command position. Harris ran as an opponent to Biden before he was selected as the official democratic nominee. She was named as his running mate in August.
Harris, who was the target of many harsh taunts from Trump throughout the campaign, is an experienced lawyer who in 2017 became the second Black woman to serve in the United States Senate. She is credited as having greatly attracted the Black women voters needed to grant Biden a win.
For 26-year-old Texas lawyer, Lauren Hutton-Work, seeing a Black woman take office is personal.
“Being able to witness the election as a Black woman myself was extremely important and extremely moving, especially as it was unsitting one of the most racist and divisive presidents in modern history,” she said.
In the coming weeks the country can expect ongoing legal attempts by the Trump administration to call the election results into question. Nonetheless, winners Biden and Harris continue forward with their transition plans, including the creation of a new coronavirus taskforce.